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recipe request: baked macaroni

So here's the macaroni recipe I use (as seen in the polka dot macaroni). It's based on the (allegedly) original recipe from the Automats, but there is actually controversy about that recipe -- some people claim there are tomatoes, others say no. Relatives who ate at the automat say no. But who knows? I don't really care. I love it because it's so easy to remember: 1/2 t worcestershire, 2T butter, 2T flour, 4 oz pasta, 8 oz cheese, 12 oz milk. It's like mathematical macaroni!

1. preheat oven to 350°
2. grate 8 oz of cheddar cheese and set aside (I grate 2 lbs at a time and freeze it in packets of 8 oz each!)
3. cook 4-5 oz of elbow macaroni and drain (you can do this while making your sauce, below)
4. melt 2 T butter in a small saucepan, add 2 T flour and whisk until it just starts to turn golden brown. Grind in some pepper if you like. Add 12 oz of milk and cook on medium low for 5-6 minutes (don't let it boil!), stirring regularly. Hey, you just made béchamel sauce!! Awesome!
5. combine sauce, pasta, cheese and 1/2 t of worcestershire sauce in a bowl and stir until just combined.
6. Scrape into a baking dish (I use a 9 x 12 glass dish) and bake for 30 minutes. Or so. Depending on your oven.

Dish it up! Also, this is best fresh, but it can be frozen and reheated - Emily loves this so much I often bake a whole one just to portion up and freeze to give her later. She even likes it at room temp, I don't know if I like it that much though!

(If you wanted to reduce the fat and starch, you can replace the béchamel sauce with an (unheated) egg blended into the milk. Put the milk and 1 egg into a blender or food processor along with the worcestershire sauce and pepper and whirl away. Mix into the pasta and cheese and bake as above. It works perfectly well, but we're too used to the other way, so I won't be doing it again.)

What did you say?

I had to print your recipe out and try it last night (w/o the hot dog polka dots, heh heh)...it was fantastic, cheesy and classic. :) And the proportions are so easy to remember! Thank you so much for sharing this. (Cool that it's based on an Automat recipe too!)

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